The unnamed bluepill pilot, pictured in his pod (left) and in the Matrix (right)

Goliath is a short story written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Bill Sienkiewicz and Gregory Ruth for The Matrix Comics Series 1. It was then re-illustrated and published in The Matrix Comics Volume 1, and was later included in Neil Gaiman's short story anthology "Fragile Things". Twenty years after the first Matrix film (The Matrix), it was also republished as part of The Matrix Comics: 20th Anniversary Edition. The story was about a genetically engineered man trained and sent on a mission to destroy a ship of attacking aliens.

Story[edit | edit source]

In an unknown date in the Real World, an alien spaceship attacked the Machine-controlled Earth by hurling asteroids at the planet. One of these asteroids struck a central processing unit in London and killed the 200,000 people it contained. The explosion briefly disconnected London from the Matrix and allowed an unnamed man to have a redpill experience, conversing with some sort of Agent-like program during the disconnection, and slightly learning some truths about the Matrix. Upon reconnecting to the Matrix, the man started to experience a Déjà vu. In fact, the man increasingly experienced it as the invasion of the Real World waged on and, at some point, he even replayed years of his life instead of just moments or days. He would later learn, from the same Agent, that he had been living in an overclocked Matrix and that only minutes have passed in the Real World in the years that had gone by in the Matrix.

Heartbeats in time: the death of Goliath

The Machines retaliated by producing a spacecraft to destroy the aliens, which the man learned to fly in his latest reincarnation as a pilot. He was soon woken up from the Matrix, given the spacecraft, and ordered to destroy the alien ship. He completed his mission only to be told that there was no return to Earth. Granting his final request and on his final hour, he was reconnected to the Matrix, allowing him to live out fifteen more years of a simulated but happy life.

Development[edit | edit source]

Neil Gaiman was one of the authors contacted by Warner Brothers to write a story or comic for the website WhatIsTheMatrix.com to promote The Matrix before it was released. He agreed, and it was announced on the site that he would write a short story for it on January 10, 1999. They sent him the script and some photocopied storyboards, which he read, and was well into writing Goliath by February 15, when an announcement to that effect was made on the site.[1][2]

The day before The Matrix was released, March 30, the title Goliath was first mentioned, with the announcement on the site that it would be posted on the 31st to coincide with the opening of the film. On April 1 it was announced that four new stories had been added to the website, with Neil Gaiman as the first author mentioned, followed by Vince Evans (Wrong Number), Tim Sale/Jim Krueger (Farewell Performance) and Bill Sienkiewicz (Sweating the Small Stuff).[2]

The story contained differences in continuity from the others and reflected themes from earlier versions of the movie script. Gaiman has said "it was definitely written for the movie, and based on the world of the movie, or at least, what I took from it from that first script. It's a story I'm very fond of".[1]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The short story ends on the year 1999. This intentionally coincides with the beginning of the story in The Matrix and the film's release.

Differences[edit | edit source]

  • The alien invasion
  • Humans linked to the Matrix are used as secondary computer processors rather than just batteries

Characters[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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